For the longest time, one of my favorite frozen meals was the Amy’s Veggie Loaf Whole Meal. It was my go-to meal. Always reliable, easy to find, I liked the taste and there’s no crazy ingredients.
Visiting family and they all want to eat at the local steakhouse? No problem, I just pop an Amy’s meal in the microwave, scarf it down and I’m all set if the restaurant has nothing to offer me but a pitiful dinner salad or very plain baked potato for dinner.
Happily, restaurants have caught a clue and usually offer some sort of vegan option so it’s been awhile since I had to turn to an Amy’s frozen dinner for substance. But now I’m sad to see honey in the Veggie Loaf meal, I don’t remember it being in there before. It’s a bummer but also an inspiration to make my own copycat version.
As a starting point, I used my Mini Savory Lentil Cupcakes recipe. It already has many of the same ingredients listed on the back of the box. A few tweaks here and there and voilà, a vegan copycat Amy’s Veggie Loaf Dinner.
Veggie Loaf Dinner
Makes 4-6 servings
1 small leek, white and some of the green part, chopped
4 fresh shiitake mushrooms, chopped
1 small carrot, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
1/4 cup broccoli florets, chopped
1/4 cup petite green peas
2 cups cooked and seasoned lentils
2 handfuls panko breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons tomato paste
Sea salt and pepper to taste
Oil to grease pan
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
In a large mixing bowl, mash the lentils. Add in the rest of the ingredients and salt and pepper to taste. Mix well.
In a well-oiled 8.5 x 8.5 inch square baking pan, pour in the lentil mixture and pack into the pan, tightly pressing into the bottom. Bake for about 30 – 40 minutes until browned and pulling away from the edges. Allow to cool completely before removing from the pan.
While the veggie loaf is baking, make the mashed potatoes and gravy using your favorite recipes. I added a bit of tomato paste to the gravy for the color but brown gravy works too.